The Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO) and India’s National Aluminum Company (NALCO) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore the possibility of setting up a joint aluminum smelter in southern Iran.
The MoU was signed during a ceremony on Monday, attended by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Indian prime minister arrived in Tehran on Sunday for an official visit during which the two nations signed 12 cooperation agreements.
The MoU envisages construction of a joint taskforce comprising IMIDRO and NALCO experts to work out the details of the project in Chabahar Free Trade Zone.
Chabahar Free Trade Zone is on the coast of the Gulf of Oman. It is the closest point of Iran to the Indian Ocean and Iran has devised serious plans to turn it into a transit hub for immediate access to markets in the northern parts of the Indian Ocean and Central Asia.
The smelter is expected to utilize supply of alumina from Nalco’s refinery in India.
“We look forward to using the low-cost gas-based energy available in Iran for conversion of its surplus alumina, presently exported to the international market, to bring in value addition and move up the value chain,” Tapan Kumar Chand, the chairman of Nalco, said, the Economic Times reported.
(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)